RANGOON — With less than a week until Burma’s Nov. 8 general election, and just days left to campaign, more than 6,000 candidates are hard at work getting their message across. Among them are a number of figures that are already well-known to the public; the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), for its part, has put forth a roster packed with sitting ministers and lawmakers.
Vice presidents, parliamentary speakers, cabinet members and dozens of recently retired senior military officials are among the party’s high-profile picks. USDP acting chairman Htay Oo told The Irrawaddy in August that nearly 60 military officers and some 50 senior members of the government would join the party’s ticket of more than 1,100 candidates.
Many of those candidates have courted controversy in their constituencies over allegations of abuse of power, vote buying and controversial pre-poll donations. Former Burma Navy Commander Adm. Thura Thet Swe and former Rangoon Minister for Border Affairs Col. Tin Win, both recently retired from the military, drew criticism in recent weeks after they visited Rangoon’s remote Coco Island in military vehicles while their opponents—members of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD)—were temporarily barred, resulting in a one-month advantage for the USDP.
Retired Gen. Hla Htay Win, former Minister of Defense Lt-Gen Wai Lwin, Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation Myint Hlaing and retired director general of the Department of Agriculture Kyaw Win all made massive donations to their Naypyidaw constituencies in the weeks leading up to the campaign period. All of the men claimed they made the donations—which went toward electrification and health projects—out of goodwill, denying attempts to curry favor.
President’s Office Minister Soe Thane, who is running for a seat in the Upper House representing Karenni State’s Bawlake Township, reportedly threw some US$235,000 of government funds toward building schools, water pipelines and electrical infrastructure in the area since May of this year.
What follows is a list of the names and constituencies of major ruling party candidates, which could turn out to be some of the most hotly contested places to watch during and after next week’s poll.
|Nyan Tun||Vice-President||Zigon, Pegu Division||Lower House|
|Sai Mauk Kham||Vice-President||Lashio, Shan State||Lower House|
|Shwe Mann||Lower House Speaker||Phyu, Pegu Division||Lower House|
|Khin Aung Myint||Upper House Speaker||Mandalay Division
|Htay Oo||USDP joint chairman, acting chairman||Hinthada, Irrawaddy Division||Lower House|
|Thura Aye Myint||USDP Vice-Chair||Wetlet, Sagaing Division||Lower House|
|Soe Thane||Minister at the Office of the President||Karenni State Constituency (9)||Upper House|
|Aung Min||Minister at the Office of the President||Karenni State Constituency (7)||Upper House|
|Khin Yi||Former Minister of Immigration and Population||Irrawaddy Division Constituency (6)||Upper House|
|Ohn Myint||Minister for Livestock, Fisheries and Rural Development||Kyauktan, Rangoon Division||Lower House|
|Myint Hlaing||Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation||Dekkhinathiri, Naypyidaw||Lower House|
|Kyaw Hsan||Minister of Cooperatives||Pale, Sagaing Division||Lower House|
|Tin Naing Thein||Former Minister at the Office of the President||Kalaw, Shan State||Lower House|
|Tint Hsan||Minister of Sports||Myaungmya, Irrawaddy Division||Lower House|
|Win Myint||Minister of Commerce||Depayin, Sagaing Division||Lower House|
|Thein Nyunt||Minister at the Office of the President||Maubin, Irrawaddy Division||Lower House|
|Khin Maung Soe||Minister of Electric Power||Hlegu, Rangoon Division||Lower House|
|Myat Myat Ohn Khin||Minister of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement||Irrawaddy Division Constituency (10)||Upper House|
|Kan Zaw||Minister of National Planning and Economic Development||Salin, Magwe Division||Lower House|
|Nyan Tun Aung||Minister of Transportation and Rail Transportation||Natogyi, Mandalay Division||Lower House|
|Maung Myint||Minister of
|Mingin, Sagaing Division||Lower House|
|Dr. Than Aung||Minister of Health||Lanmadaw, Rangoon Division||Lower House|
|Aye Myint Kyu||Minister of Culture||Yawnghwe, Shan State||Lower House|
|Hla Tun||Minister at the Office of the President||Kyaukpadaung, Mandalay Division||Lower House|
|Win Shein||Minister of Finance||Tenasserim Constituency (7)||Upper House|
|Myat Hein||Former Minister of Communications and Information Technology||Zabuthiri, Naypyidaw||Lower House|
|Than Htay||Former Minister of Rail Transportation||Myanaung, Irrawaddy Division||Lower House|
|Soe Maung||Former Minister of the Office of the President||Yesagyo, Magwe Division||Lower House|
|Kyaw Lwin||Minister of Construction||Wakema, Irrawaddy Division||Lower House|
|Thet Swe||Former Burma Navy Chief Admiral||Coco Island||Lower House|
|Hla Htay Win||Former General||Zeyarthiri, Naypyidaw||Lower House|
|Wai Lwin||Former Lt-Gen and Defense Minister||Pobbathiri, Naypyidaw||Lower House|
|Thaung Aye||Former Lt-Gen||Pyawbwe, Mandalay Division||Lower House|
|Hla Min||Former Lt-Gen||Shwegyin, Pegu Division||Lower House|
|Khin Zaw Oo||Former Lt-Gen||Tenasserim, Tenasserim Division||Lower House|
|Maung Maung Ohn||Former Maj-Gen||Ann, Arakan State||Lower House|